A review of my first cruise
That was the reaction when most people heard where we were going on vacation. Our first cruise.
For the longest time, a cruise was not something that had a lot of appeal to me. Being in the middle of the ocean with a LOT of other people we didn’t know; small places; no alone time- No thanks. You might pick up here that I’m a bit of an introvert and slightly claustrophobic.
I reconsidered it after my husband had the first of 9 stents placed in his arteries in 2014. An atypical heart patient, he has run 9 marathons and never smoked. We eat better than most people and he has never weighed more than 145 pounds.
But I have learned that there are lots of things in live that can’t be explained. This was one of them.
So we have adapted, by changing to a plant-based diet and adjusting travel plans. In 2016, we had gone to France for my cousin’s wedding and the next month he had a heart attack (he blames all of the cheese). Last year, I wanted to visit my uncle in Germany and he didn’t feel safe accompanying me. Having a heart scare when you are 40,000 feet over the ocean can be a bit of a problem.
So we decided we’d try a cruise. I wanted to go to Alaska to see the glaciers and the wildlife. I was also looking forward to cooler weather after a particularly hot summer in Sacramento. Working with a travel agent, we picked a cabin with a balcony on a higher deck so minimize the effects of motion sickness – another thing my husband is plagued with.
And….. It was a bit of a disappointment. The very things I was concerned about turned out to be issues for me. Lots of people everywhere. Eating meals was rather stressful as it was difficult to anticipate when the best time to go where there wouldn’t be crowds. Several times, we had to circle to area to find a table, swooping in as someone else was leaving.
There were also a lot of lines to go with the crowds. Lines to get on and off the ship. Lines to get on and off buses to go to excursions. And, of course, lines for food.
The food was overall pretty good. There was always a salad bar at lunch and dinner, and usually pasta and a taco bar. I had a hard time at breakfast as there was so much food that we don’t eat, including bacon and eggs. Lots of pastries which I love, but most were pretty average. We realized after one day that we could have room service as part of our fare, so we did that so we could have a quiet time to wake up.
Another disappointment was the lack of wildlife seen on the excursions. The excursions are activities like whale watching and fishing, and we tried a couple of tamer ones. We took a bus to the Mendenhall Glacier and rode bikes in Skagway but both were overpriced for what we experienced. We saw one spout from a whale and one eagle.
But you can’t beat the beautiful views.
So that last part was another thing I didn’t like. Always the selling. We went to a presentation on Levian Diamonds, and since I enjoy jewelry, we went. It was packed. Part of the draw was that there would be prizes and a free 1 carat sapphire. The prizes went to those who were close enough to the front for the presenter to hear their answers, and sapphire wasn’t free. The cost was a sales pitch for jewelry in the store before you could leave. I finally grabbed someone who was on their way out to see what the sapphire looked like. Nothing I wanted so we bailed.
So although I am very appreciative of getting to try this experience, I doubt we will cruise again. I could see how it would be a nice way to travel with family, and there were several groups on board that connected during meal time. For now, I am glad to be home in my own bed and enjoying our not-so-wildlife – our two cats. But I do sort of miss the room service – and the anticipation of what towel pet would await us along with the evening chocolates.
#cruise #alaska #hollandamericaline #HAL